There are some who believe that parenting comes to people naturally and that it is an instinct that we are all born with. This might be true to a certain degree but the world we live in is complex and requires us to sometimes learn new skills in all sorts of things and parenting is just one of them. Sometimes the things that come naturally to us are great but most of the time we\’re doing nothing more than repeating the same mistakes our own parents made while raising us. It is important to take a step back to look at your own style of parenting as honestly as possible to figure out if there aren\’t any areas in which some changes might be needed.
One of the most important things that you can do as a parent is to set a good example for your children. It is a lot easier to simply tell your kids not to do or to do something than it is to be a good role model but this is what they need the most. It is easier for kids to learn through observing others than it is for them to learn simply by being told things so it\’s very important that you always match your words and your actions.
You have probably been told already that the most important quality for a parent to have is selflessness and that your children must come first. While there are sacrifices that every parent is going to have to make you also need to meet your own needs as well. Parents who don\’t see to their own needs just burn themselves out and that has a bad effect on their ability to parent effectively. So always make sure you make time for yourself. This also includes spending time alone with your spouse or partner. Kids are incredibly important but they do not have to be the center of your whole universe 24/7. This isn\’t good for you and it certainly isn\’t good for them because it deprives them of the ability to form their own resources.
There is only so far you can go here, of course, but your kids will appreciate any effort you make at being a part of the world they live in. One very common example of this is making the time to be a part of any event that your kid is a part of from sports to plays to science. Even if you don\’t really like the activity you should make a point to learn about it so that you can bond over it with your son or daughter.
You might have a hard time with this sometimes but but it is important to try to stay calm. Even if you do not feel calm, resist the urge to have an outburst or to yell at your kid. When you act out of anger you aren\’t being that effective and it sends the wrong message to your child. Even when discipline is called for, it needs to be carried out calmly and straightforwardly, not angrily. Emotions are normal but if you feel that you\’re losing control of them, take a deep breath or two and try to take a break from the moment. It is most important that you don\’t make any decisions about what you want to do until you have calmed down. Your disciplinary actions should be based upon rational decisions not just your emotions. As a parent you need to stay in control as much as you can. There are so many parenting skills you can develop that will help your child\’s development and prevent problems from growing to large and unruly. Whether it includes being active at your child\’s school, encouraging your kids to do things on their own, consistently applying discipline when it is needed–there is an art to parenting and you can always learn something new.
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